Norwegian version

Immigrant lives in Norway over time and place (SITUATE)

SITUATE aims to understand how immigrants draw on and actively refer to their integration experiences as they situationally understand time, place/space and changing identity with reference to their personal integration trajectories.

The literature on immigrant integration often depicts integration as a process that is patterned according to – and, accordingly, dependent on – "today’s situation", or time in country and place of residence.

SITUATE starts from the perspective that adults moving to Norway from other countries (adult immigrants to Norway) actively construct their subjective understandings of such trajectories and their temporal and spatial features. In other words, immigrants draw on/refer to their social contexts when constructing specific understandings of time and place/space, rather than merely being determined by them.

While the literature from liberal welfare states (UK, US, Australia) has included focus on experience and understandings of time, place/space and identity, as they are mutually constitutive, this perspective has received limited attention in the literature emerging from or focused on the social democratic welfare state setting, including Norway.

Working research question

How do immigrants draw on and actively refer to their integration experiences (including encounters with welfare and immigration institutions/systems, social and personal interactions, encounters with the labour market, interactions with local, regional and national communities) as they situationally understand time, place/space and changing identity with reference to their personal integration trajectories?

  • Participants

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  • Research methods and outcomes

    To better understand the everyday relationship between people, practices and places, SITUATE uses sensory ethnographic methods to investigate and illuminate the mechanisms that coalesce to produce situated outcomes for these persons. 

    The project will produce outcomes in the arena of labour integration that are conceptual (producing a better understanding of this complex process, integrating a focus on temporality and on urban place/space), methodological (developing novel methodological and analytical approaches to investigate complex aspects of integration), policy oriented (informing better solutions) and educational (contributing to the professional development of junior researchers and relevant practitioners).

  • Data collection

    The project aims to speak with as participants 10-20 adult immigrants living in Oslo, who have moved from outside the EU to Norway after the year 2000. The data collection phase comprises three stages, using visual methodological strategies:

    Stage 1

    In stage 1, we will conduct a life history interview with the participant, focusing on the temporal aspects of their life, and placing emphasis on past, present and imagined future, and how the participant describes changing affiliations in their stories, including social status, gender roles and networks, over their time in Norway. We will also explore with the participant their experiences and routines in relation to workplace/household/social and leisure activities (a day in today’s life).

    Stage 2

    In stage 2, we will probe for places of significance to be visited in stage 3, and the participant will be asked to sketch a map of their everyday, to illustrate ‘neutral’ spaces, places of sanctuary where they feel relaxed and welcome, and places that they avoid or feel unwelcomed.

    Stage 3

    In stage 3 and based on information from the first two stages, we will agree with the participant on a route to take for a walkalong interview, where we will travel to places/spaces in the city that are relevant to the participant and talk about the meaning of these places, as well as how their relevance has changed over time.

    In combination with reported participant meanings attached to place and space, we are using novel analytical approaches that emphasize a focus on change, tempo and the fluidity of meaning attached to place/space. The exercise of combining movement with interviews provides an opportunity to engage with situated participant experiences and will facilitate the articulation of the material, lived, embodied and imagined sense of being in place, as this impinges on their integration.

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